The mind game

(This chain of thoughts knocked me off my sleep before the alarm went off and long before I was planning to get up)

Although I learnt very less in biology classes while schooling, I did gain a good insight into physiology during my biomedical study. The beautiful mechanism called the body is built piecemeal with building blocks called cells. Each cell is kind of a standalone entity acting as a sodium-potassium pump. When the cells get together acting in unison, we have muscle contraction, the heart beating, pumping blood; rather, the body does what it does best: survive.

Now, lets draw some parallels with what the mind does. Thinking thoughts, being pumped, make up a singular mind. When thoughts act in unison, we have the world we see or feel around us. Sometimes, it’s a giveaway when you feel connected to another person in any which way. Be it family, a friend, an enemy, or even an unknown passerby. The connection is caused by our mind linking with the others or exposing the link that already exists. That’s when we feel we understand what the other is thinking. Its like soldiers marching forward, one’s step being exactly similar to the other’s.

When various such minds come together, we have creation. In fact, the creation exists because the others’ minds are felt separately from ours. They are, no doubt, connected in some way, but we don’t know so first hand. Its like the thing about six degrees, if you’ve heard it. It says that each person is connected to any other person anywhere through at most six persons in between; each relation being family, friend, acquaintance, etc. So the creation, too, is factually a network of minds, doing what it does best: exist.

The search

The search starts when the melody feels as noise
And all things stand apart from the wise
Back to where you started, the road bends
Where death loops again into life, the search ends

When the noise and melody merge
Into the supreme stillness of the mind
And all that you see and feel
Are felt as nothing but one of the same kind!

Giving up

Why do you talk when you’ve nothing to say?
From birth, through years, even to this day?
What do you do when you act louder than words?
While silently winging with feathers of similar birds?

What do you do when there isn’t a ray of hope?
When you know, with you, they’ll never cope?
Till when do you wait when there’s no right time?
How do you live when nothing will ever rhyme?

How do you fix all that falls apart?
Hanging onto the soul that’ll soon depart?
So I give up now and to all I bow
Since others’ right way to go, I’ll never know!

Possessive behavior

Once, long back, I apologized to a good friend saying: Sorry, I'm a little too possessive about my friends and got a reply: No, you're not!

I know that reply was meant to please me but its a fact that I've remained possessive of all relations thus far. In the past few years, I've taken such attachments only as long as they needed to go. I do fall in emotions, contextually at times, realizing immediately, but still continuing so. Its not a regret I have about such human feelings, but they do tie in for a long time, settling down in memory, resurfacing occassionally, when you least need them to.

Sometimes I'm given to wonder if the indifferent attitude for one's own good, exists only superficially? The memories would come back haunting again, won't they? So whats needed is to even be indifferent to those memories now and then.

At this point, I'm reminded of Pink Floyd's Us and them:
Us and them
And after all we're only ordinary men
Me and you
God only knows it's not what we would choose to do...

Black and blue
And who knows which is which and who is who
Up and down
And in the end it's only round and round and round...

Down and out
It can't be helped, but there's a lot of it about
With, without
And who'll deny it's what the fighting's all about?

Quote unquote 14

14. From the perspective of a lazy lion, every leopard is hyperactive.
My take: A lazy lion having a perspective is not lazy enough.

Stick to your lane

Bikes get on to pavements, autos in bike space, cars in auto width, while trucks and buses are all over. The net result is a loss of direction of vehicles for good amounts of time. What I mean is that most of the vehicles are at an angle to the direction of travel! Not even the traffic police know the rules properly. Welcome to Bangalore!

Traffic snarls everywhere on the roads, any time of the day. Off peak hours, the number of blood boiling incidents lessen; but nonetheless, they are there. Noise of modified Yamahas and autos, while driving you deaf, also cut your lane at the same frequency. If everyone stuck to their lanes, things would definitely move faster, but no one would believe that, leave aside following it.

This week, I took an auto once and car-pooled with Rags to take a break from the rude traffic. Two days, I rode my bike just to switch focus to loving the vehicle than the traffic. I wouldn't say that it helped.

Even so, be it on car or bike, I still try to leave early, be in my lane, put on indicators while switching lanes, honk only when flashing lights wouldn't work, give right of way to motorless vehicles, allow people who follow rules to get their right of way, slow down or halt when people cut into my lane (at any angle), let people cross roads and, most of all, keep my head cool!

Guru's eternal presence

Most of us trust the living masters less and about those who left their mortal bodies, we say that then was a better time. About those latter ones, we say that such masters don't exist any more. We even say that we should have been born around that time for our spiritual upliftment and such.

Its okay if one doesn't feel inclined towards gurus of this day, but if one does think that there have been great personalities in the past, there's no reason to be saddened that they aren't around any more in flesh and blood. In doing so, we would be undermining their teachings! Didn't they declare that the soul that they merged into is ananta... eternal? That after realization, there isn't a feeling of separation that they could relate to or even the so-called merging becomes a myth? That is inspiration enough to search for one's own guru, whether from the present or past (or even future!)

There are all ranges of radio waves present all around and depending on where one is placed, one needs to tune the receiver to the correct frequency using the right antenna. Similarly, depending on what our inclinations are (made from karmic past, of course), we need to tune into our guru with the right faith. The guru is omnipresent, sarvadhi saakshi, transcending all that we think are obstacles to us. Then why limit our thinking to what era we live in and give up? Instead, shouldn't we be looking within and/or without on the right wavelength of spirituality?


Around a year back two squirrels used to frequent my house, jump around in the balcony and run away at the same good pace that they came by. I used to cook much less those days, thats not to say that I cook any more now! One day, I decided to feed them some groundnuts, bookishly knowing it to be their favorite food and relished watching them eat as much as they relished eating. Then on, I tried to feed them something or the other over days, inasmuch as my memory served.

These visiting squirrels soon started finding their way into the house over a period of time in search of some edibles. They sure had a ball when my parents were home for some four months. My mom's cooking and dad's dessert salads served them hearty meals through the day then.

To our surprise, groundnuts were the last on their list when fed something else! They loved all sorts of food: rice, upma, potatoes, tomatoes, even mangoes and biscuits. During the time, our baby squirrels named as Lav and Kush brought their family and friends too. Soon, we'd our family grow to a couple of regulars and some visiting squirrels every now and then.

We found squirrels to be early starters that end their day of eatout much ahead in the evenings. Owing to their frequent visits, one of them decided to hitch a tent in our other balcony without our knowledge, happily stepping out at meal hours and slipping away again. This fella was driven away since after my parents' leaving B'lore, there wouldn't be anyone to feed or free him from closed house. I spent time trying to click photographs of these beauts. I didn't get good snaps due to their being too sensitive to surroundings, though my dad got a neat video capture.

There was a day when my mom wasn't well and due to delayed feeding; then, a hungry squirrel sneaked into the room and jumped onto my mother's bed as if asking to be served! They are lovely creatures, even blessed by Rama in some mythological story and its considered to be holy and a blessing if a squirrel touches a human. Of course, in her sleep, my mom couldn't have gathered all that while screaming out!
Around three months back, my landlord decided to convert the balcony into another room and in doing so, I lost our squirrels' visits! I was getting too attached to them and I began missing them over these days. A few weeks back, however, while I was sipping my morning tea, one squirrel slowly stepped in front of me. I was boggled at its having entered the house. All the doors and windows were closed, while the other balcony (now, the only balcony!) has a grid covering. I got worried at its being trapped and had to chase it away with much effort, without hurting it. In our chase, the little fella ran over my feet and I was all goose-pimply in awe!

I understood the visit to be a claim for his/their share of food. But since I didn't have much access to where I could have fed these squirrels, I went back to wait mode. Soon, I was to find a solution in the balcony with that metal grid, where a squirrel was playing around. A couple weeks back, I *called* a squirrel with a whistle kinda sound. He looked back from the coconut tree he was climbing. On my pantomiming eating, he jumped down and in fractions of a second, he found himself next to some nuts I was setting up for him! Thats when I took some pictures that are put up here. I don't get many opportunities to feed the squirrels now. Its a little difficult to put food across through those small grill opening of the balcony! Sadly, my squirrels have moved from being visitors through being family to being visitors again!

Easing in

Life's just easing in, more so, since this morning! One good reason is I woke up and remained in some sort of a lazy, spellbound sleepy existence, that had a yoganidraa feel, today. Surprisingly, a strong cup of tea also failed to snap me out of it. Then, having woken up out of such hypnotic state, I began to get happier, smiling to myself like an insane person. It lasted through the bath and my daily rituals.

I trace back this feeling of easy living to insane states I'd gotten into a lot of times earlier when I was spiritually bound. In the recent past, I've crawled away from such inclinations and even my readings had stopped. Rather, I'd fallen from my own ideals.

But this automatic switching to such a smooth float on life's troubled waters happened when I realized that all my greedy excuses got bombed by themselves. The luring after money and cars for a short period of time gave me a tense set of months. But then, it all just evaporated one fine day. A thought occurred this morning about all this. If you've money and lose some, you don't mind; but its also true that if you don't have much money and lose it, it doesn't matter either. Many may not agree with the latter part of the statement, but its better to not care much for money and survive, than to live on the edge of money matters. I was just happy to step out of this mucky living, be it so at the cost of some money... finally, its just money!

And now, I'm comfortably numb, again :)


Yesterday night, I started screening the Band of Brothers series. Although, I've hated war for.... like ever, still, there is something about it that enthralls me. That something has got to be the discipline: the discipline of the soldiers, the discipline of the medics as projected in M*A*S*H, lets just say the discipline of any discipline that anyone belongs to!

Military arrangements are also proof enough that hierarchies are needed for any system to work, be it a screwed up logic of shooting anyone and everyone for all sorts of godforsaken reasons!

(I wanted to say more, or so I thought, about wars... but after that last thought, I've just gone blank in my mind! So, maybe some other time, or maybe not.)

A Ramanashram ride - part II

Continuing from where I left off last month... On Saturday, after darshan and breakfast, I started off for Arunachala pradakshina on my bike! Its less than a km till the highway meets the tar road that goes around the holy hill; even the road's name tells it so.

Arunachala remains hidden between structures some times and at other, the trees shadow its presence. While you're trying not to speed away, there's a good chance that you may miss a few good glimpses although the hill's aura is inviting enough.

One of the bad things of being on a vehicle is that one can't continuously view the hill; walking paints a better picture. However, I took pit stops to click some photos and even tried some stupid on-the-ride video-capture! The image on the left is how the hill shone on my first few clicks.

As I rode a little further, I saw a make-do bench beside a tree meant to give some rest and shade to the devotees who walk around on the tar, quite a lot among them barefoot. Its a good burning-the-feet exercise during day time and in the evening too, as the tar takes its time to cool off. I was also barefoot, but thankfully on the bike! Last time, I did walk around the hill
but it wasn't with naked feet.

On this bench were three monkeys playing around and hunting for some food thrown (with plastic bags by some idiots) in passing. I was watching these creatures pass their time and mine nicely. It makes ya wonder why humans are at each other's throats while even animals understand each other, especially their own species, better!

I continued my ride switching off the camera after a while, thinking of taking another stop to click photos later. Its a belief that walking around Arunachala brings in many a virtues including pull towards moksha. Ramana Maharshi used to walk around the hill at an extremely slow pace, at times, taking over three days to complete one parikrama.

It was pretty hot and the muffler I'd worn to cover my head was making me perspire. The starting point of the circumambulation is the ashram at Arunachala's southern face, also qualifying Bhagavan as dakshiNaamurti. As long as the roundabout road is the only road in the vicinity, you feel being in a village with its associated tag-along calmness, soothing the effects of heat from the sun. But no sooner than you meet another road, you can feel the town's noise eating into the bliss emanating from your meditative parikrama.

As I passed through various faces of the hill, it
seemed to change the shade and emit different colors on to the sky. Of course, the sun was helping play this game too. I pulled over again to get a longer view of what you see on the left. I tried various camera angles and owing to no zoom on pocket digicam of mine, I got only approximate expressions of Arunachala. Now thinking, its only the convenience of this Vivitar that let me capture what you see here. The beauty of the blue sky and the white clouds flying over the hill.

There was some breeze around that eased the "pain from the heatwave". That last phrase doesn't sound authentic from a Mumbaite but I left Bombay over five years ago and Bangalore serves a better temperature through the year.

At this break, I gathered that it wasn't far before I reached back the ashram and upset myself with the thought about the traffic that I'd be heading into. I sure wanted to make it before lunch hour, having missed the same on Friday, with enough margin for a wash.

In good time, I found myself struggling through thin crowded roads around the bus stand and Arunachaleshwara temple, with one-way signs pointing in confusing directions. I sped onto the highway just to meet more barricades and traffic pushing me to first gear. The view of Arunachala had also changed itself back under its veil of just-another hill at these noisy traffic junctures!

After some difficult feats, I made it back to the ashram. Having parked my bike and had a wash, I looked up the watch to tick around an hour of biking around, adding some breaks. The last 10-15 minutes of not-so-pleasant riding had added to my appetite, to be followed by a hearty meal and the usual blissful nap.

Thoughts 20

20. Driving fact: The vehicle in front of you is always slower, and the following one faster, than you!

Coming back to life

After the following phase of shifting my blog to vanishingwisdom, I'm back on anythingwise. Moreover, I shifted out on a Thursday and back too on Guruvaara.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Taking a break

The author's mood currently does not permit him to share this blog! Thanks for dropping by.


Radhika said...

Be As you Are

9:43 PM
Praveen Bhat said...

But, of course :)


12:28 PM
saithesaint said...

Miss reading your blogs.

Once you are back hope you have some
enlightenment to share.

5:52 PM

Pink Floyd's Coming back to life is a good inspiration for me right now... and here's how it goes:

Where were you when I was burned and broken
While the days slipped by from my window watching
And where were you when I was hurt and I was helpless
Because the things you say and the things you do surround me
While you were hanging yourself on someone else's words
Dying to believe in what you heard
I was staring straight into the shining sun

Lost in thought and lost in time
While the seeds of life and the seeds of change are planted
Outside the rain fell dark and slow
While I pondered on this dangerous and irresistible pastime

I took a heavenly ride through our silence
I knew the moment had arrived
For killing the past and coming back to life

I took a heavenly ride through our silence
I knew the waiting had begun
And I headed straight..into the shining sun

Thoughts 18

18. The vaasana-s drag you on the spiritual mountain you've been climbing and drop you off the cliff!

Thoughts 17

17. The eraser is mightier than the pen!

Uncharted waters

Call it the fear of unknown or whatever else, the mind refuses to get into uncharted waters. It had rather have you go its own old-fashioned, walked-by-masses lanes, than the road thats beginning to open anew. As the Zen saying goes: "the obstacle is the path"; not wanting to jump hurdles, one eases into mind games.

Once one starts avoiding difficulties and giving into simpler approaches, the lazy flow with the stream continues endlessly. "Everyone does it so, why should I be any different?" seems to be a good excuse, without *wasting* any time further. There's no effort to snap out of habitual living that has built over years, decades, maybe lives that will in turn be the cause of more births! Again, "whats wrong with birth?" is a conclusive question for many. Yearning for happiness every moment of life, attaching oneself with it, feeling hurt when failing to get the object of happiness and hating everyone/everything thats the cause of such failure are mostly the only things that one does in life!

If a person were to be happy without such dependencies, then the happiness becomes permanent. That permanance of happiness without a reason or season is what I understand as bliss. That bliss emanates from inside oneself and gets absorbed into oneself, while doing so enlightening everything that there is. That would be true living, except that the mind doesn't allow such unwavering, unthought, unmoved, unaffected, natural state of being.